Riding the Bus

rsz_bus_01They’ve spent years singing about its wheels going round and round, but now the day has come for your little one to take his first ride on a big yellow school bus.

More and more parents of preschoolers are opting to have their kids use a bus as the primary vehicle to get to class.  Depending on the location of your child’s preschool, older siblings might be able to ride alongside their younger sister or brother.

Regardless of whether or not all of your children ride the same bus, now is the time to prep your preschooler on the rules associated with school bus safety.  Familiarizing your little guy about what he can expect once he scales the large vehicle’s tall steps will help alleviate any anxiety he may have.  What’s more, if your child can master riding the bus while in preschool, he will have no problems when he takes it regularly in elementary school.

For many preschoolers, riding the bus without mom or dad is a scary proposition.  Your job is to reassure your child that he is in a safe vehicle and that he won’t be left behind.  To aid in this process you may want to attend your school’s open house or student orientation.  Many schools bring in a bus for these events so young children can take a tour.  Use this opportunity to introduce your preschooler to the interior of the bus and discuss how it is different from a car.

If you don’t have access to a real bus, create a homemade version using dining room chairs.  Simply line up the chairs in rows and have your preschooler practice the skills needed to ride a bus.  Start by having your youngster wait in line at a mock bus stop.  Next, teach your preschooler that riding the bus requires boarding in a single file.  Remind your preschooler to practice patience, as students must enter one at a time.  Complete the lesson with tips on how to select a seat, sit quietly, and exit in an orderly fashion.  Finally, on the first day back to school, be there to speak to your child’s bus driver and encourage your preschooler to talk to the driver or his teacher if he sees or hears anything disturbing during the bus ride.


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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.